The Moon Lord is the final challenge left to face at the very end of Terraria. After taking on Plantera and Golem, you may notice some cultists gathering at the dungeon, meaning you’re just about ready to take on the celestial overlord.
Especially since 1.4 made him even more complicated, most people will probably struggle to take him on. But don’t worry; this guide is here to tell you the best equipment and strategies to take on Cthulhu’s… brother? Second form? I don’t know; Terraria lore is weird.
Bottom Line Up Front
The boss featured in this Moon Lord Terraria guide is most easily fought with a flying mount, such as the U.F.O. mount from the martian madness event. However, it would help if you also grabbed weapons from the pillars that spawn after beating the Lunatic Cultist and getting at least Chlorophyte armor.
- The Moon Lord can only be summoned after defeating the Lunatic Cultist, who will spawn in four pillars worldwide.
- The pillars are troublesome events that spawn a bunch of challenging enemies.
- Once the pillars have been taken down, the Moon Lord spawns.
- The Moon Lord flies around you and will teleport to any living player regardless of distance.
- The Moon Lord uses a massive phantasmal death beam, which can do an enormous chunk of your health if you aren’t prepared.
- The Moon Lord occasionally inflicts a leech on you, draining your health and healing himself.
- You need to destroy the eyes in his hands and head, which will all spawn the true eyes of Cthulu when defeated.
- After the eyes are destroyed, the core will open up and can be defeated to kill the Moon Lord.
- The Moon Lord drops the best items in the entire game, with almost nothing to use them on.
- After you beat the Moon Lord, the credits roll, and you’ve won Terraria.
The Stats of Moon Lord
As the big finale of Terraria, the Moon Lord has some incredibly beefy health bars and defense. He can hit extremely hard and be hit repeatedly without retaining a scratch.
- Max Life: 145000 Total (217500 in Expert, 277311 in Master)
- Top Eye Defense: 50
- Hands Defense: 40
- Core Defense: 70
- Phantasmal Deathray Damage: 150 (300 in Expert, 450 in Master)
- Phantasmal Bolt Damage: 60 (120 in Expert, 180 in Master)
- True Eye Contact Damage: 60 (120 in Expert, 180 in Master)
- Immune to Confusion
- Inflicts Moon Bite (Making you unable to use life steal effects from weapons such as the Vampire Knives)
When to Fight Moon Lord
The Moon Lord requires having beaten every other required boss in Terraria, namely Plantera and Golem, who are pre-requisites for even starting the boss.
I’d recommend you fight some optional bosses, namely the Empress of Light, if you’re on Expert or Master mode, as her unique drop in those modes is beneficial.
The fight with Duke Fishron can also help, as the wings he may give you are great for this fight, and almost every weapon he drops will significantly damage both the Moon Lord and the pillars required to summon it.
You can also try doing the Martian Madness event since the U.F.O. mount it can drop is insanely helpful for this fight. A method of unlimited flight will fast-track the arena portion of this guide, making it easier to start.
The Best Armor for Moon Lord
Every class’s armor choice will be completely different at this game stage, but a safe bet for Melee, Ranger, and Mage is the Chlorophyte armor, which provides quite a bit of defense and some extra damage.
Though, this armor set does not have the best defense or buffs for any class. Each class in Terraria will want a different armor set that will give them some specific buffs and far more defense, but if you’re feeling lazy, go for Chlorophyte.
- Beetle Armor has the most defense and best buffs of any Melee-specific armor, but it doesn’t have the thorns effect Turtle armor provides. Nevertheless, Beetle armor is an excellent pick if you mostly care about doing more damage to the boss or taking more hits.
- Turtle Armor is going to be your second-best bet. It has a defense stat between the two variations of beetle armor and is a crafting ingredient. You might not want to even bother with the extra step since Turtle armor already provides additional damage reduction on top of a great thorns buff.
- Shroomite Armor may take some work to obtain, but the buffs are well worth it. You get a cool stealth mode that allows you to do more damage, with the only real downside being it asks you to stick to only bullets, arrows, or missiles. You can get around this by making multiple helmets and swapping, but that’s a hassle.
- The Red Riding Armor is highly unconventional but may be worth it. You can use two extra sentries on top of quite a few ranged buffs. If you love sentries for some reason and want to use ranger as your primary damage, then go for it; the buffs are pretty impressive.
- Spectre Armor is likely the best option for any Mage at this stage in the game; it can provide either tons of damage or lots of healing, with the only real drawback being the requirement of grinding in the post-Plantera dungeon and getting Chlorophyte, both of which require a significant time investment.
- Dark Artist Armor is another unconventional and arguably underrated choice; remarkably similar to the aforementioned Red Riding armor, it provides an extra three sentry slots on top of quite a lot of additional magic damage and a boost to the Flameburst staff especially. So again, I say go for it if you want to try a Summoner + Mage combo.
- Spooky Armor is pretty much objectively the best armor for summoners if you don’t care about defense or sentries, and it’s what I’d say to go for if the time investment doesn’t bother you. While it does require doing the Pumpkin Moon, you get practically double the summon damage the Tiki armor would provide.
- Tiki Armor has fewer summon damage bonuses than the Spooky armor, but it does have the same minion capacity and higher defense, plus it’s easier to get. Of course, defense hardly matters for summoner at this point in the game, the Moon Lord will probably kill you in 3-4 hits regardless, but the ease of access is something to consider since it can just be bought from the Witch Doctor.
The Best Weapons for Moon Lord
The best weapons for the Moon Lord are almost always whatever weapon you prefer from the pillar for your respective class, but there are quite a few less apparent picks from each class, and I’ve elected to mention at least 2 for each that isn’t just the pillar weapon(s) I prefer. I’d recommend only making one pillar weapon since any more would take up fragments and might cost you the ability to re-fight Moon Lord.
- The Terra Blade is meant to be the best weapon from Plantera until the end, and in my opinion, it delivers. Massive projectile, tons of damage, cool visual effects, what’s not to love? Well, it is pretty tricky to craft, so if you don’t feel like going and getting the broken hero’s sword or would instead make a Terra Toilet, that’s fair.
- The Solar Eruption is one of the only pillar weapons I’ve seen everyone unanimously decide is better than its counterpart, the Daybreak. While the Daybreak does more damage, the Solar Eruption is far easier to use and likely to give you more damage unless you’re a precision thrower; then go for this one.
- The Influx Waver, known as “the better Terra Blade before they made the Terra Blade great,” is a sleeper pick nowadays. Of course, you could still go for it, especially if you’re already going to do the Martian Madness for the mount, but if you want a sword, you should opt for the lean green swinging machine.
- The Eventide and Tsunami are both incredibly good bows, with unique things that set them apart from the Phantasm you’re likely to use instead. If you’ve done either Empress or Duke Fishron, you should consider using the bows they drop, as they do just as much or more than the Phantasm can.
- The Vortex Beater is an excellent gun at this stage, and you’re already going to get it by having Vortex Fragments, and it fires super quickly and deals extra damage with its bonus projectile. Of course, you could opt for the chain gun instead, but if you’re going to use anything but Chlorophyte bullets, this is the option.
- The Electrosphere Launcher is mostly here for the odd individuals that use rocket launchers. It’s incredibly funky and fires a large sphere of energy, but from the little I’ve seen people use them, they seem pretty good at damage dealing. I just usually see this sub-class go unused post-Golem, that’s all.
- Razorblade Typhoon is one of the easiest recommendations of my life. It’s homing, does a ton of damage, and shreds health bars. You have no reason not to grab this one as a mage. It’s a great all-purpose weapon and works well on the Moon Lord.
- Nebula Blaze is a simple weapon, just firing a single hard-hitting projectile that explodes on impact, but it does significant damage. However, you should grab this one anyway since it’s pretty clearly the pillar weapon of choice for this boss and puts in a lot of work on the eyes.
- The Golden Shower is an early hardmode weapon yet still practical. If you don’t already know, it fires a yellow liquid that inflicts any enemies it hits with the Ichor debuff, lowering their defense and letting you do more damage. It won’t do much damage on its own, but it’s an incredible asset to have for inflicting the debuff.
- The Terraprisma is the end-all-be-all best summon in Terraria, but it has the challenging requirement of defeating the Empress of Light during the daytime. If you don’t want to do this, I’d say opt for the dragon, but know that the Terraprisma does tons of damage and can easily defeat Moon Lord if you’re willing to put in the effort.
- The Kaleidoscope is practically essential at this point. It does some of the best whip and summon tag damage in the game, and getting it isn’t too hard since you only need to fight the Empress of Light normally. If you don’t want to mess with a butterfly, go for the Dark Harvest or Morning Star.
- The Stardust Dragon Staff is the pillar weapon for summoners since no one cares about the Stardust Cell Staff. The cell staff is quite remarkable but isn’t great in terms of damage. On the other hand, the dragon gives you a vast, single dragon that gets longer the more you summon it and does truckloads of damage.
The Best Accessories for the Moon Lord
The accessories you’ll want for the Moon Lord largely depend on your strategy to take him down, whether flying the entire time or tanking the damage. The accessories I list should be at least a little bit of help, no matter what.
Accessories for Every Class
- Wings are something you’ve probably acquired by now. Still, suppose you want a recommendation for a specific pair of flight-bearing accessories. In that case, I’d go for the Beetle Wings since they’re made with the Beetle husks acquired by Golem, plus some souls of flight easily gotten by defeating Wyverns in space.
- The Soaring Insignia (Expert and Master only) is essential for higher difficulties. The phantasmal death ray is most easily dodged by flying upwards, and this accessory’s unlimited wing flight is incredible. Every time I play Expert mode, I get this.
- The Master Ninja Gear gives you a free dodge from a single hit sometimes and a great burst movement option. The dash this gives you is an outstanding asset in this phase of the game and may save you.
- The Cobalt Shield or its upgrades are all incredibly helpful because they cancel knockback. If you don’t have them, you’ll probably get ping-ponged between projectiles in this boss.
- Lightning Boots or their upgrades are helpful if you plan on staying on the ground for most of the fight or can’t get the Soaring Insignia. These increase your speed and wing flight, so they’re pretty great as long as you aren’t flying the entire time.
- The Destroyer Emblem increases your damage and crit chance, no matter what. Obviously, great for anyone who needs more damage.
- The Celestial Shell turns you into a werewolf at night, gives you quite a few buffs, and makes you go quite a bit faster. A great buff if you’re willing to go through its decently large crafting tree.
Though every class can benefit from the previous accessories, you can also buff the damage you’re dealing with, among other things, with a different set of accessories for each class in the game. You should consider grabbing the ones that apply to your class if you want significant damage against the Moon Lord since more damage means getting the fight done faster, which means dying less.
- The Fire Gauntlet is cool because it sets things on fire. It also increases your melee damage and speed by 12%. In addition, it provides auto-swing, making it very useful for melee players and summoners who love whipping enemies since whips also receive these buffs.
- The Stalker’s Quiver makes your arrows do more damage and makes them way faster. It also makes enemies less likely to target you, which is a helpful buff if you’re playing multiplayer and don’t feel like being dogpiled by all the enemies.
- The Recon Scope gives a decent buff to ranged damage while also granting a right-click ability that gives you extra camera control. Helpful if you find yourself camping the boss right off-screen.
- The Mana Cloak decreases mana cost, gives you extra damage when you get hit, and automatically drinks potions for you. I’d recommend any mage go for this right at the start of Hardmode, not only because it’s useful but because it gives you immense drip.
- The Papyrus Scarab and Pygmy Necklace are both essential for summoners, giving you extra minion slots and making them do more damage and knockback. Of course, it would help if you went for these as soon as they’re available, which does mean doing the Pumpkin Moon.
The Best Buffs for Moon Lord
Every potion in the game, and especially every potion you have in storage, should be considered for this fight. It’s the final boss, so you might as well go out. I’m only going to list some of the essential potions you should go out of your way to get, but dig through those chests and grab every buff you can find.
- Food gives a bunch of different buffs, essentially just giving you a small amount of everything. At this stage in the game, it probably won’t be too hard to get Spaghetti from the Granite biome or burgers from the Corruption, but if you’re feeling fancy, try a Golden Delight.
- Ironskin, Lifeforce, and Endurance all give you extra defense, health, and damage reduction, lessening each massive blow the Moon Lord tends to dish out during your bout with him. Be sure to go with these if you aren’t too confident in dodging all the lasers and other things he can throw your way.
- Calming Potions decreases enemy spawn rate, and if you’ve ever had to deal with a Wyvern mid-boss fight, then you know exactly why that’s helpful. You don’t want to contend with a giant flying snake if you’re already attacking and dethroning a god.
- Rage and Wrath both require the somewhat pesky time investment of fishing in the Corruption or Crimson biomes, but the payoff of extra damage and crit chance is incredible. So be sure to go for these if you have the time to settle down and relax and just fish for a while.
- Swiftness increases movement speed, and like the boots, you should go for this if you don’t plan on staying in mid-air for the entire fight. This mainly buffs your ground speed, so it’s useful for anyone who wants to keep their feet on the floor.
Each class also boasts a host of different buffs they can take advantage of for this fight. Whether it’s trading defense for more damage or extra mana regeneration, the buffs provided here will certainly give you an edge in the battle if you choose to use them.
- Ale is a gamble. You can down it and be forced to give up four defense but get given 10% more melee damage and speed. If you’re okay with taking more brutal hits for extra damage, feel free to down it. If the defense is super important, you can skip it.
- Ichor Flasks are super helpful. They will make your whips and melee weapons deal the ichor debuff on every hit. If you’re playing either Melee or Summoner, you should go for one of these; they’re practically essential as soon as you get into hardmode.
- A Sharpening Station will buff you until you die with an extra 12 armor penetration, meaning your melee weapons get to ignore quite a bit of the Moon Lord’s defense, an asset for sure.
- The Ammo Box and Ammo Reservation Potion both help you out with one thing, saving ammo. They’re for those who are stingy with ammo. You probably took a long time to farm Chlorophyte to shoot at the boss, and you don’t want to waste it. So you should probably grab these and save yourself the trouble of getting more ammo later.
- The Archery Potion buffs your bows by making them deal 20% more damage and shoot even faster. This is something to consider if you want to use the several bow options available at this game stage since they make you do quite a bit more damage.
- Magic Power and Mana Regeneration give you extra magic damage and make your M.P. regenerate quite a bit faster. These are essential for any mage, just making all the weapons in the class do more damage and be able to fire for longer.
- The Crystal Ball is easily bought from the Wizard, and you can get extra max mana, extra magic damage, extra magic crit chance, and make every magic usage take 2% less MP. You should buy this and use this for everything as soon as Hardmode starts.
- The Summoning Potion and Bewitching Table give you an extra summon each, meaning you can have a grand total of 9 summons at this point in the game. So feel free to sic your army of swords or massive dragon on the Moon Lord, showing no remorse.
The Best Arena for the Moon Lord
The Moon Lord is tricky to suggest any old arena for. I have two different strategies for the Moon Lord, one which I prefer but the other you may find suits your playstyle better.
Firstly, what I always do nowadays against this boss is get either the Soaring Insignia or the U.F.O. mount and use those to stay in the air for the entire duration of the Moon Lord fight. Flying above the Moon Lord when he fires his laser is far more manageable. This also allows you to dodge and weave between projectiles.
This doesn’t mean you can’t still have an arena of sorts. I recommend making a large platform with campfires and heart lanterns, plus bast statues if you have them, with the nurse situated nearby. The nurse will heal herself automatically and can be easily talked to during the fight if you ever need to heal for just a few gold.
If you don’t want to fly for the entire fight, consider getting Asphalt and making a super long platform, then putting teleporters at either end. The only extra buff we’d want for this is sunflowers. This makes it easy to outrun the Moon Lord and any projectiles he throws at you. You should also put a bed nearby if in multiplayer, since respawning close to the action is always nice.
You’ll still want as many arena buffs as possible when doing this and putting the nurse nearby. Whenever you step on the teleporter, you’ll get to transport to the other side of the arena, and the Moon Lord will automatically teleport to you. You’ll still need enough verticality to jump over the laser, but if you have a decent pair of wings, that should be pretty easy.
Rewards for Beating the Moon Lord
While the main reward for killing the Moon Lord is seeing the credits roll, he does provide you with a ton of the absolute best weapons in the entire game, just absolutely nothing to use them on unless you’re playing a modded playthrough or really like doing D.P.S. tests.
- 1 Platinum Coin (100% Chance)
- Portal Gun (100% Chance)
- 70-90 Luminite Ore (100% Chance)
- Meowmere (22% Chance)
- Terrarian (22% Chance)
- Star Wrath (22% Chance)
- S.D.M.G. (22% Chance)
- Last Prism (22% Chance)
- Lunar Flare (22% Chance)
- Rainbow Crystal Staff (22% Chance)
- Lunar Portal Staff (22% Chance)
- Meowmere Minecart (11% Chance)
- 5-15 Super Healing Potions (100% Chance)
- Moon Lord Mask (14% Chance)
- Moon Lord Trophy (10% Chance)
- Gravity Globe (Expert/Master Only, 100% Chance)
- Suspicious Looking Tentacle (Expert/Master Only, 100% Chance)
- Celestial Starboard (Expert/Master Only, 100% Chance)
- Piece of Moon Squid (Master Only, 25% Chance)
- Moon Lord Relic (Master Only, 100% Chance)
How to Summon the Moon Lord
When you feel you’re ready, and you’ve conquered Golem and whatever other optional challenges Terraria has to offer that interest you, feel free to head to the dungeon and kill the cultists.
This action will start the Lunatic Cultist fight, which can be difficult if you rush in unprepared. Just remember to be constantly moving, dodge his attacks, and kill the clone he summons that looks slightly different.
After that, you’ll need to contend with the four Celestial Pillars, all challenging mini-events where you need to take on the most brutal enemies in the game all at once, and after killing enough of them, you can destroy the pillar and fight the Moon Lord.
If you end up dying to the Moon Lord, don’t worry, you can craft a Celestial Sigil with the fragments you got from the pillars, which will summon him with no need to do the Cultist or Pillars again. But, of course, if you run out of fragments, you will have to start over again at the Cultist.
Questions and Answers
Question: What is the final boss in Terraria?
Answer: The Moon Lord is the final boss of Terraria, coming after Golem in progression.
Question: How do I summon the Moon Lord in Terraria?
Answer: By fighting the Cultist that spawns at the dungeon after defeating Golem, you can destroy the pillars and take on Moon Lord.
Question: How do I get the Portal Gun in Terraria?
Answer: Fighting the Moon Lord, the final boss, will always reward you with a Portal Gun.
The Moon Lord may not be my favorite boss in Terraria. Still, it’s a challenging and unique boss fight that tests your movement and willingness to grind for the best gear vs. what your skill level will allow you to get away with, which is kind of the core idea of Terraria.
Every time I fight this boss, I feel a certain kind of rush that I don’t get anywhere else. It’s just a unique boss, and the feeling of flying through the air the entire time, dodging his massive laser, and weaving between projectiles is fantastic—a great finisher in one of my favorite games.